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Richard Dysart: A Special Next Reel Interview

Richard Dysart is one of those faces that you instantly recognize. He’s acted on the stage, on the movie screen and on the TV screen most of his life. In his films, he generally played strong supporting characters, helping to fill any given scene with what it needed. (Look at him in the films we’ve discussed in our Dysart series as well as several past shows — The Hospital and The Thing — to really get a sense as to what he brought to those movies.) On TV, he often carried the projects, whether he was playing a US President (he played Truman and Eisenhower twice each), a studio head (Jack Warner and Louis B. Mayer), or his most iconic character, Leland McKenzie on the entire run of L.A. Law. He’s worked in about every genre there is (as well as animation), has played some of the kindest characters on screen and some of the most vile, and has worked with an incredibly wide array of actors, directors and others in the industry. Join us — Pete Wright and Andy Nelson — as we have a special episode talking with the incredible, humble and versatile Richard Dysart. We talk with Dick about where his passion for this crazy industry grew from and how he took that passion and turned it into a career in radio, which led to theatre, eventually TV and inevitably film. We chat about the way ‘live TV’ worked and how everyone was still kinda winging it in this fledgling industry at the time, and talk about how it’s changed as the industry matured. We discuss his move into film, first playing an uncredited role in a Steve McQueen film, and then touch on a wide variety of movies that he worked in over the years. We point out several of our favorites and talk about the work on those specific projects. And we ask him about what he’s up to now and if he has any regrets with his career. It’s a delightful conversation with a funny, congenial man full of insight about the industry, stories about experiences on set, and a genuine passion for the world of acting. We’re thrilled to ask you to join us for this special episode.

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When the movie ends, our conversation begins. We love movies. We’ve been talking about them, one movie a week, since 2011. It’s a lot of movies, that’s true, but we’re passionate about origins and performance, directors and actors, themes and genres, and so much more. So join the community and let’s hear about your favorite movies, too.
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